Seafood Puff Pastry   Time: 30-40 min.  

Ingredients:

Frozen Pepperidge Farm, Puff Pastry shells

Béchamel sauce
scallops, cooked shrimp, and/or crab
dill

Servings: Appetizer (1 per person) or Entree (2)


 
Shell Preparation:
  
Follow the directions on the box and put the side stamped "TOP", face up on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven at 400 F for 20-25 minutes. Take them out a bit early before golden brown and use a paring knife to cut and remove the top. Make sure to remove any uncooked part from the inside using a fork or knife.
  Warning: If you over cook the shells you'll detect a smell like popcorn.

Filling Preparation:

   A bit more complicated only because of timing, this will always wow your guests.

  Start the puff pastry (see upper right) and whip up a nice Béchamel sauce since you have 20-25 minutes to work with.

  At the same time as your Béchamel is beginning to come into it's own, sauté your favorite seafood. Cut small scallops in half and gently sauté till milky white or simply heat up some, precooked shrimp that you've chopped.
  With crab, don't sauté it but instead shred it (a small amount is enough to really launch the flavors). Combining a bit of crab with another seafood is always a winning and economical combination.
  You want your sauce a bit thick and not too runny. When it's ready add the dill and stir, then add the seafood.
 
  
When the shells are done it's fine to leave them out of the oven while waiting for the Béchamel to finish, but leave the oven on.

  With your seafood Béchamel take a teaspoon and fill the shells. It's always a nice touch to finish by putting 2-3 pieces of seafood right on top before replacing the round cover or top to the pastry.

  Turn the oven off and put them back in, taking them out in 4-7 minutes.

  As an appetizer make 1 shell per person. For an entree serve 2 per person. Adjust your Béchamel to suit.

  Another good variation for an appetizer is to leave some chevre or goat cheese out so it's at room temperature. Mix in a a few teaspoons of sour cream and put your favorite green herbs in. This is easy since you can do it ahead of time and it's all at room temperature. Fill the shells as above, let them sit in the oven for 6-7 minutes so the cheese melts and you're ready to serve!
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